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Help me find an external hard drive

Discussion in Hardware Hangout started by dillinger, Apr 29, 2013

  1. Feb 1, 2011
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    Hey, I need an external hard drive to transfer stuff between computers and make backups (mainly gonna use it for music/pictures, maybe some emulators n shit, who knows).

    What I'm looking for:

    -750gig+, 1TB is prolly what I'm looking for
    -small and portable
    -reliable/fast
    -compatible with both Mac and PC
    -less than 100 bucks

    If you have any suggestions that sound like what I've outlined here please toss them my way!
  2. Dec 6, 2011
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    • Good Idea Good Idea x 1
    • Jun 11, 2012
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      Western Digital external drives are usually well priced and you can find a 2TB for less than 100$. They are the only drives I buy and my oldest is 4years old. If I need one in a hurry, I just run to best buy since their prices are not different from others retailers.
    • Feb 1, 2011
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      Bump - still looking for an external hard drive. At this point I think I might want 2-3TB instead of 1TB like I had said before.

      My main problem is finding one that will be compatible with both Mac and PC, since I will want to use it with both. I really want to get a Western Digital one, but I notice that they make separate models for Mac and PC. Why is this? Will the PC one not work with Mac, or are they just marketing to different crowds?

      Any help would really be appreciated.
    • Aug 2, 2010
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      HD's need to be formatted for either PC or Mac. Are they made different? Nope, they're just formatted for either a PC or Mac before they're thrown in a box. PC's and Mac's use 2 different types of file formats, hence the compatibility shenanigans.

      You could create 2 partitions on your external, one for a PC and another for the Mac. There is software out there to help things go back and forth but they're not very good and slow :frown:.
    • Dec 30, 2006
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      holds on im eatng. ill teply with why in a but
      • Funny Funny x 1
      • Feb 1, 2011
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        That's weird. I have an ancient external hard drive and I could have sworn that I used to transfer files from both PC and Mac on it. I guess I could do the partition thing.

        What I want to do is get music and pictures off a Mac HD and store them on the external and be able to transfer those pics/music to a PC. Is this possible?
      • Aug 2, 2010
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        So ancient that slut was probably running on FAT32. FAT32 is limited to 4GB so your new HDD is out of luck there.

        The best way would be via network for your needs: http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/how-to-move-files-by-networking-a-pc-to-a-mac.html

        If you absolutely must go the external HDD route, you can format to FAT32 (4GB limit) and move files back and forth that way. If you have more than 4GB worth of shenanigans, just copy, paste, move, and then wipe the HDD clean. Rinse and repeat.
      • Dec 30, 2006
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        Alright here we go.

        Any external hard drive would work. It doesn't matter if it's formatted for mac or windows. You can just manually format it yourself. So get the one that you want and/or that is cheaper.

        Regarding your ability to transfer things on your ancient external hard drive. "Ancient" is the key term here which usually automatically means it's formatted FAT32. FAT32 is a filesystem that is readable by both mac and windows as it was a shared file system. Only bad thing is, it wouldn't let transfer files over 4gb (I think).

        Let's get deeper into file systems. Mac is currently using their own cool file system (mac os extended or some shit, too lazy to look right now). Windows uses NTFS. NTFS cannot read from Mac and Mac cannot read NTFS. Hence why FAT32 was the last common file system between them both.

        Solutions:

        1. You format your new external with NTFS and download a program that enables Mac OS to read and write to NTFS. I'm currently using Tuxera NTFS and all my external hard drives are NTFS. This program lets you mount the NTFS drive and write and shit all over it.

        2. Split your external hard drive in different partitions but this would mean only its specific OS can read their own filesystem. It seems like you want to go route 1 since you want to transfer music and porn between different file system.

        If I missed anything else, feel free to ask away. I'm using both clients atm and I flip between them seamlessly.

        Grammar and spelling mistakes are probably insane in this post. Blame @rxn. He's stupid.
        • Like Like x 1
        • Aug 2, 2010
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          I'll Turn in your(my) Asian card and GTFO(.)

          -sp
        • Feb 1, 2011
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          Thanks a ton to the both of you! I think I understand and am no longer confused about what I should buy. Any recommendations on a good 2-3tb hd to buy?
        • Dec 30, 2006
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          Anything not made by @rxn. His shit doesn't last a day.

          WD is pretty good. At the same time Seagate and WD are basically the same. But if you do get another hard drive, make sure you run full diagnostics on it even if it takes all night before loading any of your files. Like I said, hard drives aren't made the way they used to be made.
        • Mar 26, 2009
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          You don't know what you're talking about.

          FAT32 allows for volume sizes up to 2 TB (512k cluster size) or 16 TB (4096k cluster size.) The only limitation is that individual files can't be larger than 4 GB.
          • Like Like x 1
          • Feb 1, 2011
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            Ok so here's the deal:

            I have a broken Mac laptop that I want to send in for repairs and/or backup (if it's totally busted and not going to work). These repair people are gonna need an external hard drive from me to use if it turns out that the computer can't be fixed and needs to just have the data sucked out of it. Even if they CAN repair the computer, I will want to back up the music/pics once I get it back from them. THEN I want to be able to transfer that backed up data to a PC with no conflicts / reformatting necessary.

            So, what should I give them to use? I'm assuming they will either need the hard drive to be formatted Mac OS extended or FAT32 in order for them to be able to backup my Mac onto it. At this point I'm almost thinking FAT32 may be the way to go since I seriously doubt I have any single files that will be larger than 4GB.

            Are my assumptions correct here? Are there any additional drawbacks to using FAT32? Is it easy to reformat a NTFS drive to FAT32?

            Sorry for all the questions - I'm not very versed in this stuff and I'm just trying to make sure I know what I'm doing before I go dropping money on one of these bad boys.
          • Dec 30, 2006
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            How broken is broken? Is it the logic board that died or the hard drive itself died? If its anything else other than the hard drive then it's easy to suck data from it.

            If you know for sure that none of your files exceed ~4gb then FAT32 should be fine and that's the one I would use. You can format FAT32 and NTFS via windows very easily.
          • Mar 26, 2009
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            I hope its not one of those mac laptops that has the hard drive integrated on the motherboard. You aren't getting anything off that if it dies.
          • Aug 2, 2010
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            Well my apologies! Glad to know you fixed me right up. Now on to actually finding a solution for the man.

            Go the FATty route as that seems to be your only option for the things you want/need. Just buy an external from a reputable company (WD, Seagate, Samsung) and you should be good. When you get the HDD, just format the sucker to FAT32 (lots of programs on the web to make this happen. Unfortunately Windows won't allow you to format a HDD larger than 512GB or some shit like that to FAT32) and you're good to go. Don't pay a premium for externals that boasts of PC and Mac interchangeability as they've just formatted the thing to FAT32. Unless you find a killer deal and not paying more than $10 extra.
          • Feb 1, 2011
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            Would it be a waste to get a large external if I want to do FAT32? Seems like you're saying that there is a size limit or something if I want it to be formatted FAT32.

            Also @GiGaBiTe I dunno if it's one of those kinda macs, but I'm fairly confident I can get my shit off of it (or at least the repair people can) - it's not like its totally dead, moreso the OS is fucked up and I couldn't reinstall since the CD drive, among other things, is royally fucked up.
          • Aug 2, 2010
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            No size limit, you're just stuck using a 3rd party program to format the sucker. Can't just plug it into Windows and format.

            Also, if you're only looking at software issues and no hardware, don't fret. They'll be able to snag the shit.